Avison Young Acquires Seasoned Team for Americas Consulting Practice

Four leaders from Honour Consulting join the services firm, bringing with them a group of professionals to work on building the new platform.
Jeff Estep, Principal, Avison Young. Image courtesy of Avison Young

Avison Young continues its exponential growth with the strategic acquisition of a top consulting team in the U.S. to help lead its new Americas Consulting practice. The team, having previously operated as Honour Consulting, joins the Toronto-based firm from Cresa.

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Avison Young’s new members include leaders Jeff Estep, who had founded Honour in 1998 and later integrated the firm with Cresa in 2015, Todd Ohlandt, Matt Ryder and Rick Ybarra, all of whom join the firm as principals, bringing with them a staff of 13. The group will work side-by-side with Sheila Botting, the new president of Avison Young’s Professional Services, Americas division, on the development of the Americas Consulting practice, which will be part of the firm’s accelerated Professional Services platform. Avison Young’s decision to build the Americas Consulting practice comes in response to client demand for more strategic advice and direction from real estate advisory firms, particularly in light of the emergence and worldwide spread of COVID-19.

“Avison Young has made a number of investments in innovation, technology and professional services. Our team coming on board is an extension of that strategy,” Jeff Estep, principal with Avison Young, told Commercial Property Executive. “While there is a lot we don’t yet know about the impacts of this unprecedented global health crisis, one of the things it has revealed is the need for smart, data-informed strategies that can help business navigate needs equally during times of stability and uncertainty. Strategy, operational consulting, optimizing workplaces were important prior to the current crisis and are only continuing to grow in importance to clients.”

Estep and team will provide data-driven strategic advice based on their expertise in operational consulting, including supply chain and logistics; location strategy; labor analytics and government incentives negotiations; and workplace intelligence. “Our technology has been created from the client’s perspective to help them make more informed decisions about their future strategies that are inclusive of, but also move beyond, real estate-focused advice,” Estep added.

Years-long growth spurt

The addition of the former Honour team, which will continue to operate under the Honour name for a select set of legacy clients, is just one of a series of acquisitions designed to further expand Avison Young’s already strong foothold in the U.S. Earlier this year, the company buoyed its property management offerings in metropolitan Washington, D.C., with the acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based BMS Realty Services LLC. And in the fourth quarter of 2019, the company purchased Phoenix-based Strategic Retail Group and McKinney Advisory Group Inc., the latter of which marked Avison Young’s first acquisition in San Diego.